I’m no Elmo Roper, but here are fearless predictions for Election Day:
• Helped by a ground game built while Mitt Romney was fighting in the primaries and by working-class voters buoyed by the auto bailout, President Obama will win Ohio by at least 2 percentage points and get a second term.
The closing days of the campaign are not being kind to Romney.
His clumsy remark last week to a crowd in Defiance that Jeep “was thinking of moving all production to China” was contradicted by the company, which has added thousands of U.S. jobs. Romney’s waffling on funding for FEMA didn’t help.
• Despite heavy spending by outside groups determined to defeat him, Sherrod Brown will best challenger Josh Mandel by at least 5 percentage points to win a second term in the U.S. Senate.
As newspaper endorsements around the state recognized, Brown may be a liberal, but he’s our liberal. In other words, the Democratic incumbent has worked hard on the state’s behalf.
Mandel, the Republican challenger, started running soon after taking office as state treasurer in 2011, his first major political accomplishment. His campaign — vague on the issues and repeatedly stung by “Pants on fire” ratings from fact-checkers — has been shallow and cynical, even by Ohio standards.
• State Issue 2, a constitutional amendment to change the way legislative and congressional districts are redrawn, will be defeated in a landslide, doomed by its complexity and opposition from the Ohio Bar Association, which criticized the proposed role of the judiciary in selecting a citizens redistricting commission.
But defeat of Issue 2 won’t stop pressure to reform a process the GOP badly abused after the 2010 census.
• In Ohio’s 16th U.S. House District, one of the most closely watched in the nation, Jim Renacci will eke out a victory against Betty Sutton.
The 16th District is one of only two in the country where incumbents of different parties were thrown together by redistricting.
Renacci, a freshman Republican, appeared to stumble late in the campaign by withdrawing much of his advertising from broadcast television, usually a sign of trouble.
Still, Sutton, a three-term Democratic incumbent, faces an uphill fight. The redrawn district leans Republican by about 5 percentage points. More, about 80 percent is new to Sutton, while only about 50 percent is new to Renacci.
• In the 36th Ohio House District, Anthony DeVitis will narrowly fend off a challenge from Paul Colavecchio, keeping the seat Republican.
The district, which leans Democratic by about 4 percentage points, gives Ohio House Democrats their best chance to pick up a seat in Summit County. But the DeVitis name is well known, from the family’s grocery business, and he ran successfully for the Green City Council in 2009. DeVitis was appointed late last year to a vacant seat in the Ohio House.
Colavecchio, the Democratic challenger, is in his third race. He was unable to punch through in two previous contests, one for the Ohio House and the other for the Summit County Council.
• In a tight local race, Elinore Marsh Stormer will defeat Alison McCarty for Summit County Probate Court judge. Both Stormer, a Democrat, and McCarty, a Republican, are common pleas judges. They faced each other in 2004, Stormer beating McCarty for a common pleas court seat.
• Issue 3 in Summit County, an amendment to the Akron city charter that would extend the terms of ward council members from two to four years, will be soundly defeated. Mayor Don Plusquellic and Council President Marco Sommerville tried to sweeten the pot by adding language about limiting council raises and saving money by having all city officials run at the same time. But the basic idea was never popular.
Well, that’s it. Anybody know a good sauce to serve with crow?
Hoffman is a Beacon Journal editorial writer. He can be reached at 330-996-3740 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.